Very rarely does Microsoft software gets such massive redesigns, but Skype for iOS has recently received a totally brand new look. In fact, the company says that the app has been completely rewritten from the ground up.
Which is a good thing — iPhone users have complained about bugs, crashes and stability issues with the Skype app for a while now, and the app is fast and snappy now.
Up to five times faster than its predecessor, with more fluid animations and transitions.
However, the biggest changes, by far, are reserved for the user interface. You might be forgiven for thinking you were looking at a Windows Phone screenshot. Redmond says that the new design shares a consistent look and feel with the Windows Phone and Android apps.
But at the same time, it is optimized for the unique strengths of the iOS platform:
“We’ve been working to provide a coherent experience no matter what device you use. Skype 5.0 for iPhone shares a consistent look and feel with the Windows Phone and Android apps, while still optimizing for iOS’s unique strengths.”
The best thing is that the new UI popups, smoother scrolling and enhanced animations have not come at the expense of overall performance and battery life.
New features include the ability to start group chats from the hub, sending messages to offline users, and improvements to the notification system — cloud comes into play here, as these notifications are will now be marked as read if you read your messages on your PC, tablet, Xbox and so on.
Skype 5.0 for iPhone is set for worldwide launch in about a week, while a similar version for the iPad is also in the works and should go live at a later date.